Dr Paul Dibley

Principal Lecturer
Undergraduate Programme Lead for Music


Paul Dibley is Principal Lecturer and Programme Lead for Music, and the Co-Director of the Sonic Art Research Unit at Oxford Brookes. He studied at Oxford Brookes University for his first degree, where he read Computer Science alongside Music. He gained a distinction for an MA in Digital Music Technology from Keele University. In 2003 Paul completed a PhD in Musical Composition at the University of Birmingham, where he studied with Jonty Harrision.

Paul is a Sonic Artist and Composer who mainly creates electroacoustic music and interactive computer music. He also has a particular interest in studying the use of human voice in electronic music.

Paul has had his compositions performed in the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Finland, Spain, Canada, USA, Thailand and Australia.

Recently he has worked with Jos Zwaanenburg (Amsterdam Conservatorium), Contemporary Music Ensemble Okeanos, and harpsichordist Jane Chapman. Paul was one of the four mentioned composers at the 26th International Electroacoustic Music Competition at Bourges, France. Paul is currently Field Chair for Undergraduate Music at Oxford Brookes.

Undergraduate Teaching

  • U66001 Introduction to Contemporary Composition
  • U66021 Electroacoustic Composition (double)
  • U66029 E-Music

Postgraduate Teaching

  • P66003 Electroacoustic and Live Electronic Composition (double)


Paul's main area of research interest are Electroacoustic Composition, Live Electronic Music, Video Art, Electronic Media and Programming. He is co-director of the Sonic Art Research Unit at Oxford Brookes University. In 2009 two works were developed with harpsichordist Jane Chapman as part of the SARU project WIRED and were released on NMC.

Books and other publications

WIRED - Jane Chapman, harpsichord
NMC D145
Jane Chapman, described as "Britain's most progressive harpsichordist" (The Independent on Sunday) and "a fearless contemporary music performer" (The Guardian), performs new works for harpsichord and electronics by Paul Dibley, James Dillon, Sam Hayden, Paul Newland, Roger Redgate, Sohrab Uduman, Mike Vaughan and Paul Whitty. WIRED was developed and supported by the Sonic Art Research Unit at Oxford Brookes University to explore the unique cultural resonance of the timbre of the harpsichord from its sixteenth-century origins to its use by composers of the twenty-first century. All tracks except track 6 recorded by Paul Dibley. Tracks 3,4,8 and 10 produced by Paul Dibley.

Research Dissemination

Compositions - Selected Performances and Broadcasts

Subversion I, electroacoustic composition, performed at Audiograft (February 2011).

Organ Grinder.  Composition written for Jos Zwaanenburg and premiered at Sonic Art Oxford 2010, 25 February 2010.  Also performed at Steim, Amsterdam (June 2010).

un / tuned for Sho, Koto, Shakuhachi and Live Electronics.  Performed by Okeanos (Robin Thompson, Melissa Holding and Clive Bell) at the Sound and Music event - Cutting Edge: London. 19 Nov 2009. Also performed at Sonic Art Oxford, 26 Feb 2010.

Profondeurs (electroacoustic composition) is new five minute electroacoustic composition, completed August 2008, which takes much of the original sonic material from the human voice.  The first performance was at the Digital Art Weeks at the Swiss Federal Institue of Technology in Zurich (September 2008).

Inventions for Harpsichord. A series of three Inventions for Harpsichord and technology, and written for harpsichordist Jane Chapman:

Invention for Harpsichord and Tape was premiered at the Holywell Music Room in Oxford on 16 November 2005, as part of Oxford Contemporary Music's Autumn programme.

Invention for Harpsichord and DVD was first performed on 28th March 2006 at an SPNM event held at cargo-london.
Described as having "flights of ingenuity". Friday March 31, 2006, The Guardian

Invention for Harpsichord and Pure Data. This interactive composition uses live electronics produced by Pd (Pure Data) and the compostion was first performed at The Spitz, London on 24th July 2007.  Described in a SPNM new notes Review:  'Of the three pieces using live electronics, Dibley’s Invention stood out as an effective integration of the two forces with both flowering in symbiotic empathy. The music seemed like an extrapolated journey through the instrument’s history with past references focused electronically on to new horizons.'

Other selected works:

Ein kleiner Klang was broadcast on art-radio.net on 17 February 2004.  It was played at the 3èmes Rencontres Musiques Nouvelles, Lunel, France (6 June 2004).

The Cine Projector  (2002) was chosen to be part of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community's compilation CD, DISContact! III.  It was played on the Acoustic Frontiers radio program on CKCU-FM (in Canada) on 6 October 2003 and on 3ccc-fm in Australia (8th October 2003). It played on art-radio.net on 17 February 2004 and on elektramusik.com, broadcast on 2 December 2004 and on 5 December.  It was also performed at Thailand New Media Art Festival 2004 (20-28 March).

SOMMS (or Satan Oscillate My Metallic Sonatas) premiered at the CBSO Centre in Birmingham by BEAST on 8 March 2003.

Cine - (2001, duration 16 minutes) was performed on 2nd June 2001 at CBSO Centre, Birmingham, England and selected for performance at the V BIMESP 2004 in Sao Paulo, Brazil (13 June 2004).

Thalis premiered at a BEAST concert at Birmingham.  It was played at The Ear of the Sea (an international sound art exhibition, Helsinki) and at the 21st International Study Week for Contemporary Music (at the Advanced Training Centre for New Music, Lüneburg, Germany). It was broadcast on ArtsRadio1, Finland and can also be heard as part of SOUND BOX 2.0 at http://www.kiasma.fi/. In addition it was broadcast on art-radio.net on 17 February 2004

Back to Fore - for flute and live electronics.  It premiered during the 21st International Study Week for Contemporary Music, 9 - 16 May 1999 at the Advanced Training Center for New Music, Lüneburg, Germany. Its British premiere took place on May 27th 2000 as part of the Oxford Contemporary Music Festival.

Back to Fore also played at Sonic Encounter in Northampton (10th February 2001) and at the Rotterdam Music Biennial (Rotterdam Conservatoire, 27th February 2001). On 4 March 2003, it was broadcast on Edge Radio in Holland. On the 5th July 2003 it was played at SEA'03, which was hosted by the Creative Music Technology department at the University of Hull's Scarborough Campus

EARequiem - an electroacoustic requiem for voice alone.  It premiered at OX1, A Festival of Oscillations and Vibrations (25-27 October 2001)

A Question? (1997) has been released as part of a CD (titled 'Frog Peak Collaborations') by Frog Peak Music, who are based in Lebanon, New Hampshire, USA.

Video Art with Electroacoustic Music:

Patrymau ar y dwr (created summer 2004) was played as part of the VAD Festival 2004 in Girona, Spain (13 November 2004).  This piece was composed whilst being a Visiting Research Fellow at Keele University.

Dr Paul Dibley


School of Arts

Oxford Brookes University
Headington Campus
Gipsy Lane
Oxford, OX3 0BP




Wired - Works for Harpsichord and Electronics

James Dillon^Mike Vaughan^Paul Dibley^Paul Newland^Paul Whitty^Roger Redgate^Sam Hayden^Sohrab Uduman

Published by: Nmc

Jos Zwaanenburg performing Dibley's 'Organ Grinder' at STEIM Amsterdam in 2010